A new era is set to begin for the Northwest Kansas Technical College soccer program. With the newest addition of the dynamic duo of head coach Robbie Carroll and assistant coach and wife Maren Carroll, the Maverick soccer program is preparing to take the program to new levels of success.
For Head Coach Robbie, soccer has been his passion for his whole life. Having grown up in the city of Wakefield, England, he has been playing soccer since his earliest years. After playing England's U19 National Team, he came to the United States to compete at Tyler Junior College, one of the most successful JUCO soccer programs in the nation over the past decade. After competing for Tyler, he returned to Europe where he played and coached professionally for the next five years in Norway and Sweden.
After an injury sidelined his playing career, he moved into coaching and returned to the US to serve as an Assistant Coach at Tyler Junior College. During his time at Tyler, he helped lead the Apaches to both a runner-up finish and a championship finish at the NJCAA Soccer National Championships. He would go on to serve as an assistant coach for Philadelphia University, Continental F.C. Director for Goalkeeping and Academy, and most recently as the Director of Goalkeeping for Rush Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs.
"When we interviewed Robbie, we were excited about the drive and vision he has for both the men's and women's programs. His 'get it done' attitude and commitment to building a program that centers around discipline in the classroom and on the field was exactly what we needed" said Ben Schears, Northwest Tech's president.
Assistant Coach Maren Carroll has had an equally impressive career with her background in soccer and athletic training. With a bachelor of arts degrees in Health, Fitness, and Physical Education from Whitworth University and a bachelor of science from Colorado State University – Pueblo in Athletic Training, she was on track toward a successful career in college athletics. She continued her education by earning a Master's in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from the University of Texas-Tyler and is a Certified Athletic Trainer.
Professionally, she spent two years at Tyler Junior College as an assistant athletic trainer where she served as trainer for the soccer team during a runner-up finish and a championship finish at the NJCAA Soccer National Championships. After Tyler, she spent two years with DC United and Philadelphia Major League Soccer academies. For the past year, she has served as an athletic trainer/fitness coach for both US Soccer youth and adult national teams.
"Being able to bring someone with Maren's skill set in training and nutrition combined with her soccer background into the program will ensure our men and women athletes are both physically fit and competitive" said President Schears.
The couple will be looking to fill their roster with student-athletes from around the region. "With our collective experience at every level of soccer, we are excited to build a competitive soccer environment for both the men's and women's programs" said Coach Robbie. "We will be looking to recruit local talent from Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska as well as international students."
The couple has hit the stretch of their career where they were looking for an opportunity to settle down in a small community to raise a family and build a successful soccer program. "When we saw the job vacancy we started doing our homework on the college, staff, campus and Goodland itself" said Coach Maren. "We found the college to be a great place for young adults to learn, the staff seemed like a family, and after our visit, that was confirmed."
As for the community of Goodland, they said: "it looks like a great place to start a family and build a life together with each other and the local community." The couple has hit the ground running, and are already actively recruiting for next year's team. "We're looking forward to building a soccer dynasty at Northwest Tech as well as becoming valued members of the community in Goodland."